James McDowell

James earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics from The College of William & Mary and an LLM in tax law from New York University. James recently retired after a 25-year career in financial services, primarily at Fidelity, State Street Bank and TIAA in Boston and the Bay Area. James and his wife, Caryn, started volunteering at PGC when their daughter, Juliana, joined Allegra in 2016. Juliana is now singing in Ensemble.

James’s passion is supporting lifelong learning. He served as co-chair of the Endowment and Audit Committee of the Hillsborough School Foundation for two years, and also serves on the Board and as Treasurer of Flying Particles, Inc., a not-for-profit club, training pilots in the Bay Area.


Kaitlin Leung

Kaitlin is a Bay Area native and grew up on the Peninsula. She graduated from the University of Maryland in 2020 with a B.S. in Computer Engineering and a minor in International Engineering. She returned to the Bay upon graduating and began working (remotely) in Customer Success at UpGuard, an Australian-based cybersecurity company. She currently lives in south Orange County, but frequently visits her family back in Burlingame.

Music has always been an important part of Kaitlin's life; she grew up playing piano, participated in school musicals throughout middle and high school, and sang in her high school’s girls a cappella group (led by former Brava director, Will Skaff). She joined PGC at 6 years old in Repertoire and sang through to Ensemble until she graduated in 2016. Through PGC, she participated in the OAKE honors choir and traveled with the chorus on tours to London and Canterbury, and the Pacific Northwest. She also worked as an office intern and summer camp counselor during high school.


Olivia Gingold

Olivia is a Bay Area Native who grew up in the San Mateo/Burlingame area. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Economy and a minor in Chinese Language from UC Berkeley in 2020. After graduating, she worked for a couple years at a local government agency in Marin County with jurisdiction over agency regulation and boundary management.

Olivia’s involvement with PGC began in the early 2000s. She started singing with PGC at age 6 and stayed until she graduated from high school. She’s travelled to the Eastern Seaboard, the Pacific Northwest, and London and Canterbury with the choir. She also worked and volunteered as a summer camp counselor, intern, and concert stagehand throughout high school and even college. Olivia has been involved with PGC for more than 75% of her life.

Olivia recently traded her life-long term in the Bay Area for a new adventure in the EST/EDT time zone. She currently attends the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor where she also resides.


Beth Scanlan

A lifelong music lover, Beth Scanlan is honored to join the Peninsula Girls Chorus Board of Directors. Her daughter Kate is an avid member of the Brava Choir. Beth and her family are longtime residents of the Peninsula, where she has been an active volunteer in the community. This work includes co-founding the Nueva School Endowment, as well as serving past board roles as treasurer for Palo-Alto based non-profits Environmental Volunteers and Able Works. Professionally, Beth leads The Scanlan Wealth Management Group within Morgan Stanley’s Private Wealth Management division. She holds the Certified Financial Planner (CFP ®) designation, a BA from UC Berkeley, and an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.


Boyi Phiri

Boyi was born and raised in Shanghai, China. She came to the U.S. in 2010 and earned her bachelor's degree in Finance. She found her passion in early childhood education, so she changed her career path and became a preschool teacher. Boyi believes music brings joy and promotes 5 domains of development in young children. She advocates the importance of music education for children. Boyi’s daughter joined PGC in 2022 and is now singing in Repertoire. 


Karyn Silva, Artistic Director, Concerta, Ensemble & PGC Coastside Director

Karyn has a passion and infectious enthusiasm for the art of choral music. With over twenty years of conducting and teaching experience, she is sought after as a master teacher, clinician, and mentor in her field. She is a graduate of Holy Names University, where she earned her Master of Music Education degree with a Kodaly emphasis. Ms. Silva also received her graduate certification in the Orff-Schulwerk approach from Mills College.

Ms. Silva was awarded the distinction of “Teacher of the Year” for the Lincoln Unified School District in 1996 and in 2007 was honored by the California Music Educators Association (CMEA) as “Classroom Music Teacher of the Year.” With the exception of Repertoire, she has conducted every choir level at the PGC.

Ms. Silva is actively involved in music education and choral conducting organizations. She was the Youth Choir chairperson for the Organization of American Kodaly Educators (OAKE) National Conference in 2004, she served on the board of the California Music Educators National Conference from 2005-2006, and recently she has presented sessions at the American Choral Directors (ACDA) and CMEA annual conferences. She is an active member of Chorus America, American Choral Directors Association, and the Organization of American Kodaly Educators.

1443 Howard Avenue
Burlingame, CA 94010-4258
(650) 347-6351

© 2024 Peninsula Girls Chorus